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Chernivtsi is a city with rich cultural heritage. City's museums represent various collections of decorative and applied Bukovynian arts, there are also museums of outstanding personalities who lived and worked in the city. In these pages you’ll find the list of Chernivtsi museums and information on their work.
Some museums are only significant for their cultural or scientific importance, others have rich collections of artefacts, third, in addition to their expositions, are proud of their buildings that easily deserve to be named monuments of architectural workmanship.
The first attempt to establish a museum in Bukovyna was made in 1863 by antique enthusiasts but the institution was closed due to the lack of financial support and some other circumstances. In 1877 the museum collection was granted to Chernivtsi University. The new museum was established only on May 14, 1893 due to the efforts of prof. K.A. Romstorfer, a local ethnographer, which remained functioning without any breaks till the beginning of the World War I.
The first exhibit of the museum was arranged at the Descent of the Holy Spirit Cathedral which didn’t function at that time. In 1991 the museum changed its address. Now it occupies the second and the third floors of former Bukowina Sparkasse built in 1900-1901.
The core of the museum collection is formed of the items collected by Chernivtsi Museum of Local Lore. It was supplemented during scientific expeditions and for the account of charitable grants from some artists and philanthropists. The funds include more than 10 thousand items the greater part of which has been included in the permanent exhibit.
At the time the museum has two display areas, Khotynshchyna ("Khotyn area” – Sokyriany, Khotyn and a part of Novoselytsia Districts) and Zakhidne Podnistrovya ("Western Dniester side” – Zastavna and another part of Novoselytsia Districts). The area of 9,379 hectares allocates 33 restored typical buildings of the old Bukovynian village from early XIX – mid XX centuries (houses, rooms, henhouses, wells, horse barns, a root cellar, windmills, a blacksmith shop, a church with bell tower, etc.). Most structures are located at arranged households. Accurately restored indoor scenes confer authentic features to the buildings.
The exhibit covers the period between the end XVIII and mid XX centuries. A considerable number of the displayed items are old books, documents, post cards, religious and everyday life items. Substantial attention has been given to the religious life of Bukovynian Jews. The museum makes its guests familiar with the Jewish cultural and political movement of the end XIX – early XX centuries, literature activities in Bukovyna, and the everyday life of Jews, their professions, hobbies and spiritual wants.
The museum has been placed at Fedkovych's last apartment. Here was the "Russian Talk” Ukrainian society, and "Bukovyna” newspaper edited by him was published at this location too. The museum retains documents, photographs, first editions of Fedkovych’s writings, scientific and fiction works telling about his life and activities. The memorial room in which the writer lived in 1885-1888 has been restored, as well as the working room of the newspaper editorial office. The museum presents the gallery of Ukrainian writers whose works had spiritual affinity with Yuriy Fedkovych, the person who awakened national consciousness of Austrian Ukrainians in the mid XIX century.
The five rooms of the museum display indoor scenes of the prominent Ukrainian song writer and his parents, show an exhibit of his life and work. As a whole, the apartment retains what we call memories, such items as books, records, photographs, music notes, drafts of music works, Volodymyr’s grand piano and the violin which he played studying at the music school. In other words, it retains authentic things keeping the life aura of this creative person untouchable.
The exhibition starts from the materials telling us about the emigration movement on the territory of Bukovyna in the end XIX – first half of the XX century. During the times of Austro-Hungarian Empire more than 50,000 Bukovynians went overseas, mostly to Canada and the U.S. The exhibits describe the hard social and economic position of the territory, reasons for the first (so-called economic) emigration wave, the scale of people's outflow.
The first floor describes the aviation history. Visitors have an opportunity to learn the history of aeronautics and aircraft starting from Mozhayskiy’s "flying tool” and Wright brothers’ aircraft to the most modern aircraft designs. It has a number of replica planes from both World Wars, record planes and the planes of ace pilots. All replicas of historical aircraft are completely accurate.